Rajiv Chopra, Ph.D.
Dr. Chopra is concentrated on the development of image-guided therapies. In particular, he has focused on the biomedical applications of HIFU (High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound). Ultrasound is an attractive form of energy for therapeutic use since it can be transmitted through the body from external transducers, can be focused to very localized regions of a few mm, and can be generated from devices of multiple geometries ranging from large focused transducers to catheter based devices.
A unique set of capabilities arises when this technology is combined with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The ultrasound technology is able to non-invasively deliver energy within the body for applications such as mild heating or tissue ablation, and MRI is able to acquire images of the temperature distribution in the heated tissues during heating. Since the relationship between temperature, time and cell kill is well established, this creates a powerful closed loop method for treating soft tissues.
The other emerging application of HIFU is to potentiate or enable targeted delivery of agents within the body. Ultrasound can be used to trigger release from temperature sensitive liposomes, or to non-invasively open the blood brain barrier. These capabilities open up many possibilities for targeted drug delivery in the brain and other organs with pre-existing vascular barriers (retina, testicles, placenta, etc).
His research has a preclinical component focused on novel applications of HIFU, and a translational component aimed at evaluating established HIFU approaches in patients.
- Non-invasive tissue ablation and hyperthermia using high-intensity focused Ultrasound (HIFU)
- Enhancement of radiation and chemotherapy using MRI-controlled HIFU
- Image-guided drug delivery to the brain using ultrasound energy